Julia Sanders “Morning Star”

Independent, 2022

The transition to motherhood brought to life with subtle variations in musical styles.

For her second album Julia Sanders set out to debunk the perception that songs about the transition from womanhood to motherhood would not be cool enough for a musical audience. Wanting to balance the joy of becoming a parent without losing the buzz of writing and performing Sanders found a kindred spirit in producer John James Tourville and ‘Morning Star’ is the result of that collaboration.

Sanders brings an unflinchingly honest and realistic appraisal of new motherhood. The songs bring to life the huge gulf in emotions that this state brings; from unbridled joy to numbing desolation and loneliness. That these emotions will resonate with new mothers everywhere is a given, but it is the musical layers that Tourville brings to the songs that bring the album to life.

There is no one dominant musical accompaniment employed here. Subtle variations in sound abound. Opening track ‘Place Where We All Meet’ brings distinctive banjo and strings and points in the direction of bluegrass while ‘Only Me And You’ has a more soulful feel with its organ and keyboards prominent. ‘Love The Everyday’ employs a mournful fiddle as Sanders worries she is going to fail the test of motherhood, pleading for a rest and a little sign of reciprocated love to keep her going through the difficult days.

Elsewhere acoustic and pedal steel are to the fore bringing a notable country feel to many of the tracks. On embarking on this project Sanders was convinced that Tourville was the man to trust to bring her songs to life and the finished project suggests her trust was not misplaced. With Sanders distinctive vocals a constant the changes in style and tone are subtle but distinctive and it is that subtlety that brings a pleasing continuity to the album.

As if to emphasise the point the album closes with ‘Dreamer’s Waltz’, a warm and fuzzy embrace of a song; soft-shoe shuffle drums, ballroom strings and some background pedal steel bringing a hugely personal and revealing album to a fitting close,

7/10
7/10

About Peter Churchill 147 Articles
Lover of intelligent singer-songwriters; a little bit country; a little bit folk; a little bit Americana. Devotee of the 'small is beautiful' school of thought when it comes to music venues.

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